Digital media and models of biocommunicability in health journalism

insights from the production and reception of mental health news

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This article explores some of the ways in which digital and social media are potentially impacting health journalism, with particular attention to a series of interviews with Australian journalists about their experiences when reporting on mental health issues. The article draws on the concept of biocommunicability developed by Briggs and Hallin as a lens through which to examine the ways in which journalists position themselves and other social actors in the construction of health news. In particular, the article engages the question of how digital media may work to enable and constrain biomedical authority, patient-consumer and public sphere orientations to health journalism. The article considers the interview findings in relation to previous research from journalism studies and focuses on issues around sourcing practices, content demands and web traffic/analytics as a measure of audience interest. Some areas for further research are identified.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67
Number of pages77
JournalAustralian Journalism Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017


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